Agents working for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have allegedly taken part in “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia.
A new inspector general report released by the Justice Department suggests that Colombian police officers provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties”.
Ten DEA agents later admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days.
The stunning allegations are part of an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct within DEA; FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service. The IG’s office found that DEA did not fully cooperate with its probe.
The congressional committee charged with federal oversight is already promising hearings and an investigation into the allegations.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told POLITICO on Thursday he wanted the agencies involved to swiftly fire those involved and that his panel would immediately start digging into the allegations.
“You can’t ignore this. This is terribly embarrassing and fundamentally not right,” the Utah Republican said. “We need to understand what’s happening with the culture … anytime you bring a foreign national into your room, you’re asking for trouble.”
The congressional committee was first briefed on the IG’s report Wednesday. The House is about to depart on a two-week recess but Chaffetz said there would be major action coming from the Oversight panel when the House returns in April.
“We have to understand issue by issue what is happening. We need to understand how these people are being held accountable. There should be no question about the severity of the punishment,” Chaffetz said. “I don’t care how senior the person is, they are going to have to let these people go.”
The Oversight panel is also investigating allegations into the Secret Service that agents there hired prostitutes in Colombia while advancing a trip for President Barack Obama.
The Oversight committee will hold a hearing on April 14 at 10 a.m., and the DEA and DOJ inspector generals are invited testify.
Moreover,the report states that DEA, ATF and the Marshals Service repeatedly failed to report all risky or improper sexual behavior to security personnel at those agencies.
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